The Green Beast Cocktail Is A Refreshing Introduction To Drinking Absinthe

Glasses of absinthe
Glasses of absinthe - NatalyaBond/Shutterstock

Absinthe may be one of the most misunderstood spirits. While some people insist it tastes like black licorice, others maintain it's far more complex with fresh and herbaceous hints of fennel and anise. Granted, absinthe does have a distinct flavor profile that may put it into the category of an acquired taste, but no one is suggesting your first experience with the high-octane spirit should be in the form of a straight shot.

Instead, we recommend taking baby steps and trying the Green Beast. Despite its foreboding name, the absinthe-forward cocktail created by London bartender Charles Vexenat is fresh and light. Vexenat, who concocted the libation in 2010 at the request of Pernod Ricard, a leading purveyor of French absinthe, blends fresh muddled cucumbers, lime juice, simple syrup, and cold water. The result is a surprisingly refreshing tipple.

The cucumber brings a fresh, slightly sweet, tone to the drink. Lime juice mitigates the burn of the potent spirit while enhancing its brightness, and simple syrup delivers an even sweetness to the final product. However, it's important to not go overboard when using this powerful liquor.

Read more: 13 Liquors Your Home Bar Should Have

Balance Is The Key To Perfection When Adding Absinthe

Green Beast cocktail
Green Beast cocktail - 1862 Dry Bar/Facebook

The creator of the Green Beast drink, Charles Vexenat, does warn about going overboard with adding absinthe. While acknowledging the liquor isn't for everyone he told Love Food Ibiza, "I try and show that it works [with] as many different flavors as possible. But you have to be careful, more than one shot and you are going to overpower the drink."

While some observers compare it to the Italian anise-based liqueur Sambuca, it's important to remember that absinthe is a spirit. The difference is that liqueurs are distilled spirits that have been sweetened and infused with natural flavors like nuts, herbs, and fruits. The result is a tipple that's lower in alcohol and decidedly smoother on its own than the straight spirit. Absinthe, on the other hand, is an overproof spirit, meaning it clocks in at more than 50% alcohol by volume. That's about 10% higher ABV than most standard spirits and liquors.

If you're undeterred and want to try more, consider these 10 drinks to mix with absinthe for easy cocktails or make an Absinthe Drip. The high-octane cocktail begins with a shot of the liquor poured into a stemmed glass. Then grab some sugar cubes which are essential when drinking absinthe and place them in a slotted spoon and balance it across the rim of the glass. Pour cold water over the sugar cubes until the spirit turns cloudy. Salud!

Read the original article on Tasting Table